There is need for Kenyans to embrace food diversity through seeking alternative crops to boost food security in the counties and also to improve their livelihoods.
Sweet Potatoes Farming researcher at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-KALRO Mr. John Ndung’u says with the emerging climate change challenges maize can no longer be relied on solely.
In an interview at the ongoing Nakuru National Agricultural show, the researcher says crop diversification is the only way to uplift the living standards of the farmers and Kenyans as a whole.
“Time is now that we start thinking on alternative crops such as sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins and even cassavas. As KALRO we are putting more focus on the same” says Ndung’u.
One of the Big 4 agenda of the Government is Agriculture with more focus on food security in the country.Mr.Ndung’u says to achieve this, then farmers should embrace the food diversity rather than relying solely on maize.
While lauding the Government’s program on flour blending where millers will be required to blend maize and other foods such as sweet potatoes,wheat,cassavas etc before milling, Mr.Ndung’u says this will greatly help address food security.
“The government Big 4 agenda on food security can only be achieved if we embrace food diversity. I want to commend the government for the flour blending initiative where millers will be required to blend maize with other crops” says Ndung’u.
It should be noted that for many years the county has been majorly producing maize at the expense of other profitable crops like tea and coffee hence mono-cropping being the reason why the poverty rate in the county has been skyrocketing.
Ndung’u adds that with proper awareness among farmers and the society at large then the country will be salvaged from poverty as they will be able to open up to other crops than maize.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Different varieties of Sweet Potatoes displayed at the KALRO stand at the Nakuru Agricultural show.